Fall is here. Our children are back to school in some form and things just got busier. For many of us, it has become more complicated to balance work and family life. Most importantly, our video conferencing “freemiums” are expiring, which is leading many businesses to rethink their communications strategy. The million dollar question is what everything is going to look like later in the fall or in the dreaded winter.
Flexible working, remote working or work from home (WFH) helps to alleviate the complications of work/life balance. Many companies like Google are allowing their employees to WFH until next summer to help them manage the challenges of work and life. More are following suit.
Many of us thought that remote working was temporary, but the impact COVID has had on culture has changed that mindset forever. Companies are now embracing remote workers, which opens boundaries set by geographic limitations of going to an office. Glassdoor, the job posting site, says its remote job openings are up 28.3% from a year ago, even while overall listings are down 23%.
Since Feb, we’ve seen 3.4% (Flexjobs) knowledge workers working remotely, rise to a whopping 58% (Forbes).
Companies need a solid Unified Communication (UCaaS) platform in place. Phone, chat, and video all In one platform that’s easy to use, implement and most importantly, supports remote working!!
Remember when cloud communications wasn’t a priority? It was something that was nice to have. These trends are telling us something different now. Companies that didn’t embrace this, have to sooner than later, which is a daunting task for many of them.
Technology partners are helping companies of all sizes navigate swiftly and efficiently through this journey.
Remote working for US employees has increased from 4.8% in 2019 to over 80% today. The world has been forever changed by the COVID-19 crisis, and this has become very clear: remote working has quickly gone from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘need to have.’
Companies that once didn’t fully embrace remote working are now reconsidering if they need corporate offices anymore.
Its various benefits are felt in different areas: workforce productivity, cost savings, employee motivation, mobility and business agility. Multiple factors have been driving adoption on an international scale for sometime, and as businesses recognize the benefits to their peers or competitors, instances of remote working are on the rise across the US and beyond.
Traditionally, the demand for remote working comes from employees seeking a better work/life balance and greater control of their lives – not as a radical overhaul of workplace philosophy, but simply as a continuation of their experience outside of work.
Enabled by technology, the evolution of workplace roles leads to the untethering of workers from their desks, as increasing numbers of tasks can be completed remotely.
The results of businesses switching to remote working are primarily people-focused, centered around empowering employees to operate at their most productive levels. It’s about creating a win-win situation for the business and the customer – whether that customer is internal or external.
We are finding many companies that were “considering” UCaaS & CCaaS are now having to get something in place by the end of the year.
This blog was written by Ed Finn, Regional Sales Manager, Silver Peak. Enjoy this article because it captures what we are facing in the “new normal” and how we have to embrace these changes into transforming our companies digitally.
There is a lot of talk about the “New Normal,” but I bristle at that because the very word, the tag that has been put on the way we must work and live now is a vestige of our old ways. Why do we need normal at all? This is an opportunity to redo, reset, renew. There is going to be hard ships in the next few months, there are going to be layoffs and closures, downturns, and instability, but rather than looking at that as normal can we look at it as change, betterment, refocusing.
The task of grocery shopping falls to me since my wife is working out of the house and often not home before 9 or after 5, so I happily do this part albeit as infrequently as possible. If you are also making weekly or bi-weekly trips to the supermarket, you can follow the slow evolution that happened there. First there was sanitizer wipes at the door and gentle reminders to “social distance.” Then there was plexiglass at the registers and employees wore gloves and the little groups that mulled around the store would occasional still stop and chat with each other. As days and weeks progressed there was masks added, no more wipes or sanitizer at the door, garbage cans in the parking lot for masks and gloves, and arrows down the aisle direction the shopping flow. There was no more chatting, in fact no two people were ever any closer than a checkout clerk and customer.
It is in this scene that I noticed something that struck me as curious. Certain aisle always seemed to be empty, like toilet paper and paper towels. You looked down barren shelves that had months before been a wall of different colored packaging choices. I will leave alone the question of why in a Pandemic we feel that toilet paper is the item we must hoard. What I find very curious is not what is missing from the shelves, but what is still there. As I move down aisles that are filled with blank spots that once held essentials like pasta, soup, and bread, I am amazed at what is still there. Passing many processed products that definitely have questionable organic origins and repackaged products that divide and make smaller and more portable what we used to get in family size boxes. The disposal trays, portions bags, powder drinks sit on the shelves as we opt for products that offer a better value that give us more of what we truly need.
This translates to the workplace as well. My home office desk had, no lie, 5 boxes of staples and 3 staplers wedged into its drawers. There are 5 table lamps and a center piece lamp. The room is 8 X 10, so lighting is not an issue. There are folders and papers that no longer have any meaning, one folder contained numbers with no frame of reference or identifying marks, they look good but were meaningless. So, I guess if we were to consider what the “new normal” should be, the fact it is it should be regularly and consistent change. Offices when they re-open will do so with a question as to what is needed, what parts of the office are soup and what are powdered drink mixes. Need to haves verse nice to haves, and how do we adopt the home user to the office and more importantly adapt the office to the home user. What change can offices make to adapt themselves to the essentials and bring those essentials to the home users. The change will focus on how to help an office worker work the same exact way at home as they do and did in the office.
The answer should not surprise you – it is technology. Carefully looking over the technologies being used how they can be made better, how they can become seamless to the worker. Embracing change and relooking at edge technologies like Silver Peak SD-WAN can offer a glimpse of how an appliance can challenge the router and allow cloud migration and home office experience that can shape the tomorrow we are facing and provide the flexibility to allow success.
According to telecommuting statistics 2018, there were 4.3 million remote workers in the USA, which makes up 3.2% of the entire workforce. We haven’t seen data on new stats since the pandemic, but it’s increased significantly.